Queen Sonja of Norway was one of 20,000 tourists that traveled to the small fishing village of Kamøyvær last year. But first she decided to follow in the footsteps of King Oscar II of Sweden and Norway, who, in 1873, climbed the cliff face of the Nordkapp Plateau. Yepp, that’s a Norwegian Queen for you! And she’s turning 75 this summer. The viking blood must run deep.
During her highness’s pilgrimage to the North Cape she also visited Kamøyvær. Why? To take a peek into this tiny, sunshine-yellow house.
Surprised? She, like 20,000 other people chose to put The Gallery East of the Sun on their list of “Sights to see while in the North Cape.” (www.evart.no).
The delightful woman who runs this gallery is Eva Schmutterer, a German collage artist (surprised again?) who moved to the North Cape in 1997 and opened her dream gallery in 2005.
Her collage pieces capture the spectacular scenery of the area, as well as the variations in lighting and weather conditions throughout the seasons. It’s no wonder tourists, and locals alike, are drawn to her artwork.
The following collage, “Distant Horizon” is one of my favorite. This piece speaks so strongly to me of the strength of women, especially Magerøya women throughout the ages.
Eva’s summer’s are a whirlwind of tourists and 12-16 hour work days, as busloads of people stream through her sunny gallery and find a keepsake, or two or three, to remind them of their pilgrimage to the North Cape.
In the off-season she enters into a creative world, nestled in her studio surrounded by a picturesque fishing town.
Eva’s creativity doesn’t stop with making collages, she designs jewelry:
and reindeer that make you smile:
And she brings fairy tails of the Nordkapp troll and Rudi the reindeer to life in her children’s books:
I encourage all travelers heading to or from the North Cape Plateau to stop by The Gallery East of the Sun. Meeting Eva is as delightful as looking at her vibrant artwork. I guarantee you won’t regret it. Queen Sonja didn’t. In fact, after returning home, she wrote a hand-written letter to Eva, complimenting Eva on her artwork and sharing that the queen was reading Lise and the Nordkapp Troll to her grandchildren.
And guess which print the queen bought?